Colorado Capitol Report

Tribute to Pat Teegarden


Tribute to Pat Teegarden

It is with incredibly deep sadness that we share with all of you the loss of our dear friend and colleague Pat Teegarden.  Pat passed away on Saturday, February 5th after a very brief illness.  Many of us worked with Pat for years at the State Capitol and the Department of Labor and he was one of the kindest and sincerest people who never let the challenges of the political process stand in the way of his devotion to his family and friends.  We will miss Pat with all our hearts and will remember the joy and friendship he brought to each of us during his much too short life.

Services for Pat will be sometime in the Spring and we will provide details once we receive them.  If you would like to share a tribute to Pat or help the family to honor Pat, please visit: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/patteegarden


Loren Furman Chosen to Serve on Elite U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100

This week, our President & CEO, Loren Furman, was given the prestigious honor of being chosen to serve on the US Chamber Committee of 100.  The CCC100 is an elite group of chamber executives across the nation that represent the perspectives and needs of state chambers and their members to the U.S. Chamber and help identify emerging statewide and national issues.  The group also advises the U.S. Chamber on programs and services and provides feedback on policy-related issues.

CCC100 members represent a select group of state, metro and local chambers from across the country and is led by Chairman Glenn Hamer, President and CEO of the Texas Association of Business.  This amazing opportunity will give the Colorado Chamber of Commerce the opportunity to build our network nationwide and strengthen relationships with the U.S. Chamber and other chamber leaders across the country.

A list of the CCC100 can be found here.


HealthCare Policy Council Recap

 

The Colorado Chamber’s Healthcare Council met Thursday February 10th.  The Council welcomed two wonderful speakers, Representatives Kyle Mullica and Matt Soper,  both dynamic and crucial members of the House Health and Insurance Committee. They engaged the Council in a lively conversation about healthcare workforce shortages, the importance of bipartisan legislation, and the themes emerging for healthcare policy in 2022.

The Council took the following positions:

  • SB 40 – Actuarial Reviews Health Insurance Mandate Legislation
    • Colorado Chamber Position: Support
    • This bill creates an actuarial review process in the Division of Insurance for upcoming insurance mandate proposals from the legislature. It would allow up to five reviews annually and would publish the information in the fiscal note for the legislative proposal.
  • HB1008 – Implementation Of Fertility Coverage
    • Colorado Chamber Position: Oppose
    • This bill clarifies language from the 2019 bill that fertility coverage for the large group market is not subject to federal determination concerning defrayal for the cost of coverage. There were two amendments made in the first committee to clarify the defrayal determination would still apply to the individual and small group markets, and to push back the implementation date for plans issued or renewed to January 1, 2023. The Chamber opposed this bill in 2019 and believes this mandate will increase the cost of healthcare for employers.
  • SB 68 – Provider Tool To View All-payer Claims Database
    • Colorado Chamber Position: Monitor
    • This bill requires the All Payor Claims Database (APCD) create a tool to allow users to access and search certain healthcare reimbursement data.
  • SB 78 – Prior Authorization Exemption Health-care Provider
    • Colorado Chamber Position: Monitor
    • This bill requires healthcare carriers to provide an alternative or exemption to prior authorization for providers who have a 95% approval rating for the prior 12 months. The bill was amended in the first committee to require a minimum number of services to qualify, pushed back the implementation date from January 1, 2023 to January 1, 2024, and removed the section concerning the applicability to the drug benefit.
  • HB 1122 – Pharmacy Benefit Manager Prohibited Practices
    • Colorado Chamber Position: Amend
    • This bill does two main things. The first piece prohibits a PBM from reimbursing a pharmacy for a prescription drug in an amount less than the national drug acquisition cost. The second piece prohibits a third party payer from discriminating against pharmacies that participate in the 340B program, as well as a number of other provisions concerning fees, rates and restrictions specific to 340B. Concerns were raised about the first section of the bill, as well as the use of modifiers for tracking the prescription drugs.
  • HB 1199 – Visitation Requirements Health-care Facilities
    • Colorado Chamber Position: Oppose
    • This bill requires healthcare facilities to allow patients to receive visitors under the least restrictive state or local ordinance, overruling any policy the healthcare facility has in place to keep their patients and staff safe, enforceable by CDPHE.

Several other introduced bills were discussed but no position was taken at this time.

The Healthcare Council also reviewed a draft for the “No Surprises Act” or the Out of Network Alignment bill. Once the bill is introduced the Council will discuss it again and consider a position at that time. The next meeting is on March 10th at noon.


Tax Policy Council Recap

Last Friday, the Colorado Chamber’s Tax Policy Council had the opportunity to hear a presentation from the Council on State Taxation (COST) regarding tax policy issues across the country and in Colorado. The Council On State Taxation (COST) is a state tax organization representing over 500 multistate taxpayers engaged in interstate and international business. Erica Kenney, Senior Tax Counsel for Western States discussed federal tax issues and state tax legislation and regulations in other states including three corporate tax issues that COST is following:

  • Pandemic effects on traveling/teleworking employees and their employers;

  • New Taxes on Digital Advertising and Data;

  • Constitutionality of State/Local Sales Tax Systems after Wayfair.

COST is also leading the charge in advocating for model legislation in other states including that could eventually be proposed here in Colorado:

  • Mobile Workforce 30-day Safe Harbor: COST Version, not MTC    

  •  RAR Adjustments; Joint Effort: MTC, COST, AICPA, TEI

  • Unclaimed Property: ABA Version, not RUUPA

  • Marketplace Legislation: NCSL Collaborative Effort

  • State One-Month Filing Extensions

  • Participation in Streamlined Sales & Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA)

Erica highlighted other major tax issues COST is seeing in other states such as: mandatory combined reporting, rate reductions, decoupling from TCJA(j), and financial statement relief for SSF shift.

copy of Erica’s presentation can be found here..

Discussion of 2022 Legislation

The Council also discussed the 2022 tax legislation moving through the legislative process and took positions on the following bills:

House Bill 1118 – (bill sponsor: Representative Daugherty (D)   [OPPOSE]

The Tax Council discussed this proposal with officials from the Department of Revenue last month, who told the Council that the intent of the bill was to address bad actors and frivolous claims for sales and use tax refunds. Unfortunately, the language of the bill is problematic – particularly the use and definition of the word “frivolous,” which is overly broad. The bill also imposes significant penalties that Chamber members believe would negatively impact tax payers. The proposal overreaches far beyond what other states have done to address this issue. Chamber members voted to oppose the bill as written and intend to work with legislators on amendments for improvement.

SB 124 – Salt Parity Act (bill sponsors: Senator Woodward (R) & Representative Ortiz (D)  [SUPPORT]

The “SALT Parity Act” was enacted in 2021 and allows pass-through entities to pay state income tax at the entity level, which allows the entity to claim an unlimited deduction at the federal level for state and local taxes paid. The bill simple changes the effective date of this Act to the retroactive date of January 1, 2018. Council members voted to support the bill based on tax relief it could potentially bring for taxpayers.

HB 1006 – Child Care Property Tax Exemption (bill sponsors: Rep. Roberts (D) Vanwinkle (R) / Senator Donovan (D) & Smallwood (R)  [SUPPORT]

This bill expands an existing property tax exemption to include property that is rented or leased and used as an integral part of a childcare center. The Council took a support position due to the shortage of child care resources and facilities statewide.

Please contact us lfurman@cochamber.com or larry@groupfulcrum.com with any questions regarding this Tax Council update.


Save the Dates: Upcoming Policy Council Meetings

Labor & Employment Council – Feb. 16th

  • Guest Speaker: Jeff Riester, Legislative Director, Office of the Attorney General
  • Discussion of HB 22-1119 – False Claims legislation and update on data privacy rulemaking process

Governmental Affairs Council – Feb. 22nd

  • Guest SpeakerEve Lieberman, Chief Policy Advisor for Governor Jared Polis
  • Discussion of Governor Polis’ 2022 policy priorities

Energy & Environment Council – Feb 23rd

  • Guest Speakers: Shaun McGrath, Director of Environmental Health & Protection, CDPHE & Michael Ogletree, Air Division Director, CDPHE
  • Discussion of 2022 legislation and CDPHE priorities for air and environment

Visit our online calendar for the complete schedule of council meetings.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Laura Moss at LMoss@cochamber.com or (303) 866-9652  for more information.